Cross-cultural perspectives of tourism portfolio

RTM 404 Portfolio Project—Summer 2014

100 Points




General Directions: 


The Portfolio is intended to encourage your reflection on course topics in personally meaningful ways. Your responses should be within the page length guidelines provided for each assignment and no longer than that.  I encourage you to compose outlines and rough drafts prior to writing up the final entries to gauge the length of your project.  These should be written in Word files, which are compatible with the Blackboard system.  Be sure to save electronic files on your computer or flash drive also.  Responses should be double-spaced using 12 point font.


For full credit be sure to follow all directions carefully. Submit your Portfolios by the deadline at the end of the summer session using the directions provided on Blackboard.  Responses must be received (you will receive a time stamp from the Blackboard system) by the deadline.  Late assignments will lose 20% of total points and will be accepted only up to 48 hours late.  Plan ahead and submit your materials on time to avoid losing points needlessly.


For each section of the Portfolio, copy each question (as presented below) followed by your answer.  If you answer the questions thoughtfully and thoroughly you will do a good job on the Portfolio.  I have been using Portfolios for ten years now and have found that students who put forth an earnest effort and answer the questions fully ALWAYS do well.  In other words, if you follow the directions and put forth an honest effort you have nothing to worry about.





Note that Portfolios are due on Thursday June 26 by 6 pm.  Late projects will lose 20% of total points and will not be accepted beyond 48 hours of the deadline.













Section #1: PBS Untold Stories Project


View the video segment, read the PDF file, and complete the study guide for each of the Untold Stories on African Americans, Native Americans, and Japanese Americans. 


Note that the study guides can be used as reference material for the exam.  You DO NOT have to turn these in.  This will be the only online assignment that will also require information for an exam.


Respond to each of the essay questions below to be included in your Portfolio:


Yosemite Buffalo Soldiers:  African American tourists comprise less than one percent of the visitation to Yosemite National Park.  Shelton Johnson has made it his life’s work to connect the general African American population to the national parks.  Present ideas that you have that would result in the national parks being more attractive to African Americans as a tourism destination.


Mount Rushmore, Telling America’s Stories: Gerard Baker is the first American Indian to be Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  Discuss your thoughts on the inclusion of American Indian history and culture, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  In other words, to what extent should native American history be interpreted in our national parks?  What should tourists be exposed to in terms of Native American history?


Manzanar, Never Again:  How should our country at war balance our citizens’ civil liberties and the need for national security?  What relevance does this period of history have in our world today (think 9/11)?  How does the fact that our country established a national site to honor a difficult period in our past reflect on us as a nation?  What is it that tourists should learn about when they visit Manzanar?



Length: Two to three pages


Recommended Date of Completion:  Week 1


20 Points











Section #2:  Information Literacy—Codes of Cultural Behavior


  1. Choose a destination (one country) anywhere in the world.  To begin this section, explain why you chose this particular country.


  1. Provide a brief cultural overview of the country to include historical background, language, religious beliefs, and society structure.


  1. Conduct additional research on the codes of cultural behavior in the country.  Provide information on cultural “Dos” and “Don’ts” for tourists to the country.  Analyze at least five “Dos” and five “Don’ts” which document the codes of cultural behavior in the country that will assist tourists in avoiding conflict with the cultural values of the hosts.  Again, discuss (not just list) the “Dos” and “Don’ts” as a major component of this assignment.  After each of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” make certain that you provide the reference cited.  The references may appear by title only, in parentheses, after each listing. For example: (CultureGrams) or (CountryWatch).


  1. Explain which of the “Dos” and which of the “Don’ts” seem most unusual to you and might contribute to your unease in the country you chose.


Note:  Online resources include Europa World Plus and CountryWatch, which are authoritative data bases offered through the SDSU library.  I encourage you to use these in your research.  You are also welcome to use other accurate online sources of your choice.  You must list a minimum of two references.  Do not cut and paste material from the online resources.  You must report the information in your own words.  Again, at least two sources must be used.  And, again, these can be listed by title only in parentheses after you present the information in each instance.  It is not necessary, in this class, to provide the full citation (since it will be easier for you this way and I’m already familiar with all the reference works).



Length:  Three to six pages


Recommended Date of Completion:  Week 3


30 Points










Section #3:  Internet—VolunTourism


Go to


Review the home page to understand the resources available on this web site and to get a feeling for what VolunTourism is.  On the menu (left screen) under “Who Are You?” click on “Traveler.”  Read this page on VolunTourism for Travelers.


Under “Quick Links” click on “Getting Started” and read.  Complete the following exercise in this section:  The Difficult Questions.  Add to your Portfolio.


Under “Quick Links” click on “Trip Preparation” and read.  (Note that we skipped the section on “Trip Selection.”)  After carefully reading the material, list three important insights you gained about trip preparation.  Add to your Portfolio.


Under “Quick Links” click on “Processing Experiences” and read.  Under “Quick Links” click on “Post-Trip” and read.  Note the reference to “re-entry” (remember the W-Curve that focused on this aspect of tourism?).  What is your response to this section?  In other words, what do you think of the advice given about Processing Experiences and Post-Trip?  Add to your Portfolio.


Next, read the five articles that are posted on our Blackboard course management site for this assignment and summarize each of the articles (two to three paragraphs for each). Add to your portfolio.


Finally, is VolunTourism something you would consider in future travel plans?  Why or why not?  Add to your Portfolio.


Length:  Four to seven pages


Recommended Date of Completion:  Week 4


30 Points














Section #4:  Internet—Project Implicit


Go to


This online project is associated with fascinating research about attitudes toward various aspects of non dominant cultures.  Do not begin this project until I have introduced it. 


It is well known that people don’t always “speak their minds” and it is suspected that people don’t always “know their minds.”  Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology and for our purposes concerning cross-cultural perspectives. 


The Project Implicit web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods.  Research using this new method (Implicit Association Test) has been conducted at the University of Washington, University of Virginia, Harvard, and Yale. 


On the Project Implicit web site you will find a Demonstration Site and a Research Site.  Choose the Demonstration Site.  There you will find preliminary information and an “important disclaimer.”  Read over this material carefully before you proceed, knowing there is a possibility of encountering interpretations of your test performances with which you may not agree.  If you opt not to proceed please talk with me about an alternative assignment.  (Note that over the past seven years, out of hundreds of students, not a single student has opted out!)


As you continue you can choose from about 15 possible tests that interpret your responses to various aspects of non dominant perspectives, cultures, views and traditions (such as Asian-European American, African-European American, Arab Muslim-Other People, and Native-White American). 


Choose any five of the tests (of the 15 or so, the categories vary over time) and complete them.  In other words, you can choose the tests according to your personal reasons. 


Please copy the results of your five tests to be included in the Portfolio, although, again, you may see me about an alternative assignment if you prefer.  With reference to the results from the tests, analyze your findings. 


1) Explain to what extent you agree or disagree with each of the interpretations provided.   2) What does this entire assignment have to do with a general education course with the “cultural diversity” distinction?  3) What does it have to do with cross-cultural perspectives of tourism?


Length:  Two to three pages (Copies of results don’t count toward the page limit.)


Recommended Date of Completion:  Week 5


20 Points 

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